There are three kinds of losses in the NFL: Normal, painful, and embarrassing. Most losses fall into the "normal" category, and, yes, sometimes love hurts. But it's rarely embarrassing.
Unfortunately, the Vikings have had more than their fair share of one or the other or both - or all three. The four Super Bowl losses were painful, but as painful as those were, they signified the end of what were ultimately extremely successful seasons. No shame in that, right?
That said, Sunday's loss to the Browns was, as one Viking employee put it after the game, "a true low point in the history of the franchise."
Is that true?
You tell us. Here's what we came up with:
1999 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP - VIKINGS vs. FALCONS
Dennis Green took a knee, Gary Anderson missed a field goal and the Vikings lost at home as huge favorites to the Atlanta Falcons. It summoned the end of Randy Moss's rookie year and a 15-1 regular season.
2001 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP - VIKINGS at GIANTS
Kerry Collins and the Giants torched the Vikings, 41-donut. To make it worse, the Giants stole our plays!
2010 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP - VIKINGS at SAINTS
The Vikings held Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints to 257 yards of total offense, but five turnovers and Brett Favre's famous across-the-body interception to Tracy Porter sealed the fate of yet another collapse in the clutch.
2003 WEEK 17 - CARDINALS STUN VIKINGS
This one featured a win-and-in scenario for the Vikings, who collapsed down the stretch after starting the season 6-0. All they had to do was finish off the lowly Arizona Cardinals, but they couldn't do it. Josh McCown hit no-name receiver Nate Poole in the back of the end zone as time expired to end Minnesota's season. Poole, by the way, finished his career with two touchdowns. Paul Allen's famous "Noooooooooooo!" call is still beloved/hated by all.
2005 LOVE BOAT - VIKINGS at PANTHERS
A week after the Vikings got caught with their pants down -- literally -- they went to Carolina and got waxed by the Panthers. Cornerback Fred Smoot, who once said "two-thirds of the world is covered by water, the other third is covered by Fred Smoot," was repeatedly torched by Steve Smith to the tune of 11 receptions for 201 yards and this mocking touchdown celebration.
2000 IMPROBABLE BOBBLE - VIKINGS at PACKERS
The characters in this comedy were Brett Favre, Antonio Freeman and Chris Dishman. It was Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field. The game was tied at 20 in overtime when Dishman's premature celebration allowed Freeman to come up with a crazy game-winning touchdown. It was also Election Eve, when Bush v. Gore was decided on a similar fluke ... eventually.
2002 VICK RUNS WILD - VIKINGS vs. FALCONS
Speaking of overtime, the Vikings ran into Michael Vick on December 1, 2002 and Vick ran right out of the Metrodome with a win. It wasn't necessarily an embarrassing loss, but the final play featured Vick running 46 yards for the game-winning touchdown. The embarrassment belongs to Greg Beikert and Corey Chavous, who collided trying to tackle Vick on the final play.
1988 YOUNG'S RUN - VIKINGS at 49ERS
Everyone remembers Steve Young's 49 yard game-winning touchdown run against the Vikings as a great play. Young was a great player, but the Vikings missed seven tackles on that run. Seven! That's unacceptable and embarrassing. The ironic part about the play is that Young, who stumbled into the end zone, said he was embarrassed that he almost fell down before scoring.
1985 DA' COMEBACK - VIKINGS vs. BEARS
Before Da' Bears went 15-1 and crushed the Patriots all the way to the Super Bowl Shuffle, they were losing to the Vikings in week three of that memorable 1985 season. Minnesota had a 17-9 lead in the third quarterback before a hobbled Jim McMahon came off the bench to hit on three touchdowns in seven minutes, ultimately leading Chicago to a 33-24 win. The Bears refer to that game as "The Viking Miracle."
Okay, okay, we said no Super Bowl losses. But this one is the Mother of Them All, the one that cursed a franchise for at least two decades and counting. Yes, the Vikings were underdogs that fateful day at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Jan. 3, 1977. But still ... think Ponder's bad? Watch The Great Scrambler throw a pass that was almost picked off twice: